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Comments on Dr Usman's Articles, Lectures & Interviews

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(Click underlined links to read article)

 
by Bukar Usman

(This article was also published by the Daily Independent, the Sun, and the Daily Trust.)

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I went through your piece and was moved to tears to learn about tolerance in older democracies, among others. We are glad we have great minds like you as a mentor. Please keep it up sir. - Yemi Adebisi

Interesting article. I believe you flattered Nigeria and Nigerians in trying to compare Nigeria with South Africa (SA). As a sports tourist to SA a few years ago, I came back to Nigeria with the sad reality that the two countries are nowhere at par. Certainly, not in sports and not in tourism. It will take us another fifty or more years to be where SA is today. - Prof. Michael Ayivor 

I just read your article and I must say I really enjoyed it. I hope you are finding the National Development Plan (of South Africa) interesting. We are presently working on a National Spatial Development Framework which would guide development at the national level by trying to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan. We also have some other interesting policies, plans and programmes which Nigeria can learn from. Hopefully I could get the opportunity to use what I have learnt here back home. Kind Regards. - Adefemi Adegeye

Thank you very much for sharing the link of your article. It was very interesting to read the comparison between the two countries. - Tayo Adegeye 

Mr and Mrs Adegeye,

Thank you very much for your compliments and the informative comments.

May I know what 'spatial development' means and what it is intended to achieve please?

With warm regards- Dr. Bukar Usman - September 11, 2016

Good Afternoon Sir,

I have tried to answer your question below:

Spatial Development and Spatial Development Framework

Spatial development can simply be put as the way in which our cities and towns develop physically or the way in which we want them to be developed. 

A spatial development framework is a long term plan that guides a city's growth and development. The plan indicates which areas will be developed in the nearest future and the type of development that would take place in this area. The aim of spatial development framework is to foster growth and development as well as promote employment and inclusivity.

According to the City of Tshwane (2012: 34), "the purpose of the municipal spatial development framework (MSDF) is to provide a spatial representation of the vision of the city as a tool to bring together all areas of spatial planning such as planning of roads, service infrastructure, land use planning, open spaces, building infrastructures and movement patterns both vehicular and pedestrian. The MSDF also serves as a guide in the decision making processes of the municipality with regards to spatial development. The overall aim of the MSDF is to achieve the city's vision by achieving certain goals which are:

  • Addressing social need
  • Restructuring of a spatially inefficient City
  • Promotion of sustainable use of land resources
  • Strategic direction around infrastructure provision
  • Creating opportunities for both rural and urban areas
  • Guiding developers and investors as to appropriate investment localities
  • Rural management programmes to improve livelihoods and stimulate employment

 

Three levels of Spatial Development Frameworks

There are three levels of government in South Africa and each of them by legislation is required to develop spatial development frameworks.

The National government would prepare a National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF)

Provincial government would prepare a Provincial Spatial Development Framework (PSDF).

Tshwane or Pretoria which is a Municipality (Local Government) would prepare a Municipal Spatial Development Framework (MSDF).

These spatial development frameworks are guided by policy documents and plans. For instance, the Municipal Spatial Development Framework is guided by the integrated development plan of a municipality. (I will discuss this, the integrated development plan briefly below).

The National Spatial Development Framework is guided by the National Development Plan and other national policies and the Provincial Spatial Development Framework is guided by the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy of a province.

The preparation of these plans involves a lot of consultation and participation with stakeholders, community members and government officials from the three tiers of government. Each of these plans highlights what the government at each level wants to achieve in terms of development, service delivery and job creation.

What is an Integrated development plan?

The Municipal Systems Act (MSA, 2000) requires a municipality after consultation with relevant stakeholders and affected communities to develop a long-term plan for the municipality, which must put into consideration provincial and national sector plans. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) outlines key programmes, priorities and projects for a 5-year Mayoral term which are represented spatially in the Spatial Development Framework of the municipality.

Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA)

I have attached the act which was drafted by the office I worked. Uncle Sunday was leading the project for 11 years and left after the completion to pursue a career as an Advocate. In Chapter 4, page 21 you can see more on spatial development frameworks.

Nigeria?

These are ideas that we can use to develop Nigerian cities, make them orderly, foster growth and employment. But one would need serious political support in terms of developing legislation and policies that would force local and state government to develop plans of what they want to do during their tenure with adequate consultation with community members.

Sorry for bombarding you with all my planning jargons, I hope you find it a little bit interesting. Thank you - Kind Regards. - Adefemi Adegeye

 

Your Excellency Sir, Change starts with you...
Change was your idea not ours.
Change was your manifesto, we do not have a manifesto
Change was your mantra, not ours
Change was your magic word
Change starts with you.
We did not vote us into power...
We voted you into power because we bought into your Change mantra.
Change you sold.
Change we bought.
And Change we want.

Change we can touch, Change we can feel, Change we can relate with, and Change that has a human face. And we want it from you.

Show the light, we will find the way.

In 1937, when the Great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Owelle Osowanya Onitsha) launched the West African Pilot newspaper, he chose a very special motto for it.

"Show the light and the people will find the way."

Zik knew leadership is everything.

The very idea that 'Change' starts with the led and not the leadership can be best described as an abdication of responsibility by the leadership.

That was the utopia Karl Marx preached, but as he also found out, it took the intervention of the ruling class in the person of Frederick Engels for his ideas to be heard.

There is no known historical precedent where the people led the change paradigm without the leadership.

I have ruminated through my books on political and economic history. There is no known reference.

The closest was the French Revolution of 1789, and if you take a closer look, it was not even started by the Proletarian class. Danton and Robespierre were not ''the masses''.
Every dramatic, and drastic change witnessed from the 19th to 20th century across the globe has been top down.

Nnamdi Azikiwe studied it quite well in his Renascent Africa, and came to the conclusion that "Show the Light, and the people will find the way"...

Chairman Mao failed woefully in China because he believed change could come from the people. That was why he launched the Cultural Revolution.

But it took Deng Xiaoping to show that leadership is everything when he manipulated the ''unseen finger'' that has pulled over 600 million out of poverty in the last 30 years. That is leadership!

Cuba withstood the world's blockade, suffered all sorts of indignities, yet gave their people one of the best education and health care services in the world. It took the leadership of Fidel Castro....

General Park knew this quite well when he set out the policies that encouraged the Chaebols in South Korea. You can describe him as a dictator, but he laid the foundation for the take off of a prosperous Korea. Today, I am writing this with a Samsung mobile device, thanks to the foresight of General Park, whose daughter incidentally is the present President of South Korea.

Lee Kuan Yew is an evident testimony that change can only be effectively and efficiently launched top down. He enumerated everything succinctly in his well received book, From the Third World, to the First World. Singapore today is a living testimony to that.

Mahathir Mohammad pointed out that principles can be replicated. He learnt from what happened in neighbouring Singapore, and helped steer Malaysia in same pathway.

Can we take a look at what leadership caused in Chile; that is today well referenced as the Chile Miracle? The bringing in of the Chicago Boys who helped drew the economic blue print that led to the emergence of the first rich society in South America? This too is a well documented case study.

What of Dubai?

Was it the poor people of Dubai that caused the change or the Sheikh who pursued his dreams in spite of contrary views from 'knowledgeable folks'....today, the Dubai experience has been duplicated in Qatar, Oman, Bahrain etc etc...and in each case, it took leadership.

Brazil already has an economic growth template initiated by President Cardoso while he was the Minister of Finance. But it took Lula Da Silva to take Brazil to global prominence...

Now let us come home to Africa.

Botswana has always been described as an oasis in the midst of poor leadership, mismanagement and chaos. Was it the Botswana people that engineered the change process or the leadership of Ketumile Masire who followed in the footsteps of the first President of the country Sir Seretse Khama. He mentored Festus Magae, reputed as Africa's incorruptible leader. Is Botswana today not regarded as Africa's most stable country, with the continent's longest continuous multi-party democracy? It is relatively free of corruption and has a good human rights record.

Look at Rwanda....

Just 20 years ago, it was the most destroyed nation in the world. Go there today. It is a model. Walk through the streets of Kigali, it is the neatest city in Africa. Even Rwandans don't even walk around dressing haggardly. Interact with them to check out their level of patriotism. Check out their growth rate and how today they are the most respected African country at international diplomatic circles.

Look at Ethiopia, hitherto known for poverty and hunger...today it is the driving force in the Africa rising story. They are building a massive 8000 km railways criss-crossing the entire country. Their airline is the most profitable state run airline in the world, and the rate of infrastructure development is second to none in sub Saharan Africa.

I can go on and on....

I can also go into Europe and give examples where just one man or woman came up with an idea, sold it to everyone, and ensured everyone is part of it.

Even democratic Germany survived the economic crises of the last decade because of the leadership of Angela Merkel.

In the United States, and at different times in their history, we have seen the emergence of someone who took the bull by the horns, and steered the nation from economic doldrums to prosperity.

It started with Thomas Jefferson.

Then we had Abraham Lincoln

Then Franklin Delano Roosevelt whose astute leadership ensured Americans elected him four times as President even when he was bedridden.

We had John F. Kennedy, whose dream was to put a man in the Moon.
We also had Ronald Reagan

Bill Clinton, and of course Barack Obama......
These leaders stood out.
In the UK, we had men like Winston Churchill whose words, just words boosted hope in time of despair, and whose wisdom helped save an entire continent.

In France, we had men like Charles de Gaulle. He was France, France was him.

He was affectionately described by the French as "Celui qui dit non"

Your Excellency Sir, show the light, and the people will find the way!

LEADERSHIP IS EVERYTHING - Emmanuel E. Awure

Thank you for sharing the 'glimpses' of South Africa (SA) with us, Sir. SA is apparently more physically developed while we outshine them socially. - Mikailu Ibrahim

Wow! The historical paradigm is truly ingrained. Great, thought-provoking and skillful report. It is time to restructure. University of South Africa has a student population that is higher than the population of students in Nigerian universities put together. Azania (South Africa) cannot be compared with Nigeria. - Prof. Selbut Longtau

This is a very good piece. It suggests that you visited South Africa as an intellectual not only as a tourist.  The simple answer to your poser in the last paragraph is South Africa. You have said it all except that there was no comparison of how many "parasitic" billionaires are there in both countries and how many private jets did you count at both Nnamdi Azikiwe and Oliver Tambo international airports. Ditto the Development Plan. Food for thought! Kind regards.  - Prof. AY. Shehu

...One more thing sir, I won't end this short mail without acknowledging that your piece on Glimpses of South Africa made an interesting read. I frankly enjoyed it. It was as tantalizing as a tuwon sallah meal. Kudos, sir. Best regards. - Khalid lmam

Thanks, Dr. Usman, for the piece. I really enjoyed reading it. It was an excellent comparison of Nigeria and South Africa. Bravo! - Prof. Segun Adekoya

Thank you for sharing. The similarities are quite striking. I have thought so.

Warm regards. - Prof. Gidado Tahir

 

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by Bukar Usman

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Salam, my distinguished senior brother. I've read through the two tributes you wrote on these illustrious and distinguished elder statesmen (Monguno and Shinkafi) of the North and Nigeria in general. I thank you immensely for taking the time and pains to put the hitherto unknown attributes of these great Nigerians more especially to the younger generation. I am highly impressed.  Once again thank you sir. - Hassan Zakari

Thank you very much for sharing your works with me, sir. I have read the two touching tributes you wrote on late Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi and Shettima Ali Monguno.

Best regards - Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

Thanks for this great tribute to our well esteemed Statesman who, like you, I met in my early years in the diplomatic service. I met him in Dublin in 1974, when he came to represent General Gowon at the funeral of the Irish President. He flew in from New York (NY) as all the top level officials who were in London at the time declined to cross over to represent the Federal Government. He was contacted in NY, flew in; and from the airport straight to the Church for the funeral ceremony. He spent over 8 hours the next day at the airport trying to return to NY but the weather delayed all flights until they were cancelled that day. He subsequently left the following day without complaining for a second. He was simply a great Nigerian. Thanks for speaking for us all who knew and held him in the highest esteem. - Amb. Segun Apata

Thank you for the piece. We have lost two great figures around the same time -Shinkafi and Monguno. May their souls rest in peace and may you be rewarded for immortalizing them with the pieces - Mika'ilu Ibrahim

This is to acknowledge your interesting articles on two of our revered elder statesmen from Northern Nigeria, Shinkafi and Monguno. We pray that Allah (SWT) will forgive them and bless their souls. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, neither of them wrote his life history, nor had any one written their biographies. It touches me that we are not only losing them, but also the stories about them as well! Maybe, it was time a project was established to harvest valuable histories; at least in respect of our founding personalities from Northern Nigeria. But the funding; huh! - Prof. Ismaila A. Tsiga

I have just finished reading the third of the series of tributes you paid to three illustrious nationalists who recently passed on. While I cannot say much about the first two who were security legends, your assessment of them must be right since you were in your own right a legend in security issues.  However, on the third elder statesman (Monguno) I also had a privilege of meeting him in 1969 while I was in the 6th Storey Building Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  Mr. S.B Awoniyi was the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Mines and Power. He introduced me to his minister, Monguno, and the impression I had about him then had remained. He was a pleasant gentleman to meet.  He advised on how I should focus on my job and make a good career in the service. Nigeria has lost again a very patriotic and committed nationalist. We thank God for granting him such a long and fruitful life. May God grant him eternal rest. - Segun Ajibola, from Toronto Canada

One quality of character  that shone through the two commentators,  Mr. Segun  Ajibola  and Segun  Apata  is the show of appreciation  and respect  to the elders for their  good characters and true commitment to  service. They did that because they are also good people in their own right.  For me it is inspiring and a big lesson. - Salisu Saleh Na'inna Dambatta

May his gentle and distinguished soul rest in perfect peace. I saw him, Monguno on one occasion that I accompanied two politicians to see him when he was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). If I recall properly, the politicians went to solicit his support for the creation of Adada State. May his family and friends be consoled. - Prof. Damian Opata

Thank you Bukar for this refreshing insight into the life and times of a great Nigerian who served diligently. I can now understand why he was so durable. Shettima Ali Monguno is now more complete in my mind for who he was. Best wishes to you and your family. - Faderin Iyun

May Allah forgive the sins of Marafan Sokoto and grant him aljannat Firdausi. My condolences Mouftah. I remember the last time we paid him a visit was in your company, Hon YT, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar, Adamu Modibbi and Uba Saidu Malami. -  Hon. Mohammed Umara Kumalia

A great and compassionate man. May Allah grant him AlJannah Firdausi, amin. Allahu Akbar! - Mouftah Baba-Ahmed

A great man gone! Inna IillaHi wa Inna IlaiHi Rajiu'un! One of the leaders I truly respect. An excellent senior brother. May his soul rest in perfect peace. May Allah forgive him all his trespasses and reward his good works with Jannatul Firdaus. - Bashir Tofa

Much appreciated. A very factual and fitting goodbye to a deserving elder statesman. Sincere regards. - Sunday T. Dogonyaro

Very interesting and revealing. - Cyril Uchenna Gwam

Sir, Ranka Dede and lob (praise in German) for your Shinkafi/Yusuf tributes...Floreat! - Prof. Olatunde Okanlawon

Well done sir. May his soul rest in peace, amen. - Hon. Dr. Wale Okediran

Beautiful tribute Sir. Hope all is well with you. Have a great weekend. - Amb. Fatima Balla

Thanks for your piece on Alhaji Shinkafi. But for your tribute, I didn't know that he has passed on. Those of us who were not involved in intelligence service align fully with the thrust of your piece. I join others in thanking you for the tribute. Very warm regards. - Segun Apata

A fine gentle man (Shinkafi). I remember him very well during one of the national security retreats. He was the chairman of a syndicate group and I served as the Secretary. May Allah grant him Aljanah. My warm regards sir - Francis M. Fariku

My condolences. I didn't know about the demise of Alhaji Aliyu till I received this message. May Aljannat fiddaus be his final abode. Mu kuma idan tamu tazo Allah ya sa mu cika da eemani Amin. - Mahmud Maijidda

Thanks for continuously keeping me in the loop. Well written. Sad loss of yet another noble statesman. - Amb. Bolere Ketebu

Sir, thank you for sending me the eloquent tribute you paid to the late Marafan Sokoto. Here is mine own tribute, shared with a few others. Regards:

A great man indeed. Over many years, as an official of the Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA), I became very close to the late Marafa. He was always interested in knowing what will take place and when, so that he could adjust his programs, for he never liked missing any BOBA function unless it was absolutely necessary. Lately, however for reasons of health, he would take excuse in good time. One episode I will never forget was when he couldn't turn up to an event he had earlier promised to attend and I called to remind him. He said, "Haba, Shehu ba ka gani na tsufa?" (Shehu, don't you see that I am now an old man?). But when I retorted that, Malam Yahaya Gusau, a very much older and respected elder member was already there, his response was, "Kai dai Shehu takadarin yaro ne" (Shehu, you're...(Mouftah, take over please). And in about 15 minutes, he was there.

The other thing I know is that, the late Marafa and my kinsman, the late Alh. MD Yusuf were close, and at times I used to drive MD to Mafara's house in Kaduna, but their 'tête-à-tête never lasted for more than 10 minutes! May Allah bless Marafa and grant him a place in the Aljanna Firdausi, amin. - Usman Kaikai

Dear Sir, I write to express my sincere appreciation to you and your foundation, for your valuable contribution to our people. You have really touched our lives through your enormous projects. May God reward you abundantly and give you good health and strength to excel in all your endeavours. Thanks - Mohammed Ali Walama Biu

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This book, emanating from a public lecture given at Ahmadu Bello University by Dr Bukar Usman, was earlier published by The Nation newspaper. Click the above title to read the newspaper version.

Readers' Remarks

 

"Thank you so much for the above article; as usual, a master piece from you. I am confident that with people of your caliber speaking out on our national issues, one day soon, things would begin to turn around for good in our country.Remain blessed." - Prof Chinyere. Ohiri-Aniche

 

"May I equally join the wagon of those who are baring their mind on the paper you presented at Ahmadu Bello University on the above mentioned subject (‘Leadership, Security and National Development'). To begin with, the choice of the topic is apt and you have really done justice to it to the point that you left the entire audience in attendance in admiration. You spoke with eloquence and conviction by linking the topic to international politics and the treacherous game being play by the big powers. The lecture was in a nutshell electrifying. Thank you greatly for the courageous way you dissected and presented the issues, just as they were, irrespective of whose ox was gored.

    "In fact, your  paper presentation came at a time I was badly looking for materials for a paper to be delivered at the forthcoming "2015 Workshop on Conflicts and Political Violence" to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from July 20th to 31st. Some cogent issues raised in your lecture are very relevant to the paper I am developing." - Musa Ajiya

 

My dear mentor, your write-up is interesting... Security matters have always been your area although you have recently achieved much in the literary field. The paper was an intelligent, well-researched piece that competently examined African problems, and that of Nigeria in particular. The facts are clear , objective and professionally presented. In fact the presentation is timely as it reflected on the endemic problems currently facing Nigeria currently: bad leadership, corruption, insecurity, institutional decay and poverty. This publication should not be limited to the academic environment alone...I love and appreciate your brilliance and hard work despite your age.  - Mudi Hashim

 

"I want to acknowledge receipt of the lecture document, 'Leadership, Security and National Development'. I pray that BUK will one day invite you to deliver a similar all-inspiring lecture. May Allah (SWT) continue to enrich you in wisdom and good health for the benefit of mankind."  - Sheriff Ahmed

 

"Thanks for this. It is a great work. I appreciate your accepting the right-based definition of security that includes food, physical, health, etc. This definition was driven by the US army and Pentagon in the 1950s/60s with the understanding that national security  (systemic security) cannot be assured if the security of the citizens (sub-systemic security) is not guaranteed or realised.  

    "According to US security theorists, ensuring sub-systemic security will authomatically check domestic threat such as the black panther movement in the USA (to bring it home: militancy in Niger Delta or Boko Haram in NE Nigeria). I have forgotten the name of the USA General (later the Head of NATO)  that was in the forefront of this right-based theory. No matter its beauty, such right-based theories have many flaws.

    "It is pertinent to mention that there are many right-based security theories such as system/sub-system theory; UN theory, etc. Can I share it Ministry of Foreign Affairs forum?" - Cyril Uchenna Gwam

 

"Thank you for sharing this interesting piece with me. It has added significant value to my thoughts and approach to the issues. I appreciate it! I was just wondering if those who framed the topic would not be disappointed by the broad, rather than a ‘national/partisan', perspective you took. To me, it is a lesson in your usual way of being exceptionally creative, professional and non partisan. I commend your usual erudition and depth of wisdom." -  Abdullahi Shehu

 

"The depth of research in the paper will kindle the audience's interest in security, leadership and national development. Surely, you impacted positively your skill in security management on your target audience ... Well done, sir."  - Maria Udenta

 

"Thank you Bukar for this rich and well articulated paper. I will forward it to my final year students. Best regards." - Prof Alaba Ogunsanwo

 

"It's another master piece which relevance is beyond African borders and the so called developing or third world countries. May God continue to enrich you daily with wisdom and understanding." - Simon Okanlawon

Dear Dr. Bukar Usman

Sorry for not writing much earlier. This is because I have been extremely busy.

I went through the text of the public lecture you delivered at A.B.U on 20th June, 2015 and I must say I found it extremely interesting and topical. I thank you for sending the electronic copy please.

The paper is very concise, well laid out and the arguments very well presented. After going through the paper I came out with the following major observations:

1.   The paper is very original and the arguments presented very germane to the issues underlying the contemporary development of African countries. The implications of the issues raised, and the conclusions arrived at, tend to indicate a measure of interconnections at several levels (national, regional and international) on the question of security and that of the general development of the country. It would seem that the paper in some ways represents an African perspective on the phenomenon of globalization.

2.   Pages 1-7 represent very important insights and contributions on the subject matter. Indeed one could identify no less than eight major conceptual, and theoretical, insights that are very significant to any serious appreciation of the issues under consideration. These include:

The important observations on how National Constitutions create a necessary environment for all manner of political and economic pursuits in view of their essential roles in the definition, organization and operations of all modern nation states (P.2).

You also, secondly, drew attention to the ambivalent role of the UN and its Security Council in international affairs in general, and to the use of veto powers in a supposedly democratic institution in particular (P.3).

Thirdly you drew attention to how some of the powerful members of the international system have tended to become major threats to the survival of the weaker and poorer nations in the system.

Fourthly you clearly indentified how poorer countries, striving to become independent, become targets of the more powerful nations in the system which, you observed, "portrays a picture of predator relationship between bigger and smaller nations". (P.4).

You also, in the fifth place, noted that such activities against weaker states are carried out under "UN - sanctioned interventions". The contest between nations seems to centre around a quest for control over natural resources, self-governance and technology at several levels. Furthermore this contest is not only effectively dominated by the powerful states with a history of territorial expansionism, it also comes in diverse  military, diplomatic and many other forms symbolizing worldwide struggle for hearts, minds, souls, wealth and resources.

In the seventh place you noted how, as a result of these various factors, "Media warfare is real".

Finally you also, rightly, drew attention to the nature of relationships between national security and national development.

The strength of the section, and issues, cited above is due to the fact that they represent concerned, as well as original, reflections that are informed by the broad exposure and rich experiences that have shaped your own personal learning processes.

3.   From PP 6 - 9 you however tend to, in my view, uncritically rely on established and conventional viewpoints, or stereotypes. These conventional viewpoints could also only be advanced on the basis of the denial of the very significant effects of foreign imperial intervention on the development of the continent since independence. These therefore tend contradict your earlier position in the paper.

The observation made above can be illustrated with reference to three broad developments in Africa since its independence. All of these developments represent a concerted attempt by the former colonial powers, under the leadership of the United States of America, to ensure that the independence of African states is not only reversed but  also effectively brought under the Multilateral control of the USA, EU and NATO as the new global expression of international imperialism. In this regard the diverse range of foreign interventions visited by these forces on the continent became effective strategies towards undoing the achievements made earlier in terms of the establishment of nationalist or independent regimes on the continent, on the one hand, as well as their ability to develop and systematically implement their own self-made National Development Policies, Plans and Programmes, on the other. Further to this African nations, in the context of the OAU, were able to initiate programmes of regional integration and development which would ensure their total economic independence. The efforts to contain, stall and reverse this process constitute the significant policy thrust of Euro - American states in Africa since independence. It also explains the continued, and relentless, assault on Africa's nationalist and independent political processes in different disguises such as the "cold war", "Development aid" "military assistance and cooperation", "structural adjustment policies" etc.

The second important feature of foreign intervention in Africa since independence is that it operates to promote disregard for the rule of law in African politics, as well as promote lawlessness in the international system generally. It thus functions to promote impunity at all levels and to, in particular, subvert national and popular sovereignty as the only real basis for the development of democracy as well as the protection of human rights.

Where attention in focused exclusively on so-called good leadership in Africa, sight is usually lost of how nationalist leaders were subverted as a result of wide ranging acts of foreign interventionism which favoured only the installation, by foreign powers, of puppet leaders all over Africa- with the kind of result that is today generally lamented as "failed states"!

The tendency to ignore the extent to which independent - minded African leaders were embattled by foreign predators tends to also obscure how such aggressive activities, in turn, generated foreign hostilities which were executed through foreign - sponsored coups, mercenary invasions, covert insurrections, engineered insurgencies and popular incitement resulting in a state of permanent insecurity which tended to wreck any targeted nation. Only effective regional unity, and common action, will help to overcome such major acts of foreign predation.

The third major feature of foreign intervention is that it works to forestall independent, integrated and diversified development of Africas economies because such will lead to the termination of western control. As a result they stand against any initiative by African countries to control the commanding heights of their economies or indigenize and industrialize same. These are disregarded in favour of foreign-imposed policies like SAP which promote so-called ‘liberalization' and ‘privalization' that are only designed to secure, and promote, the imperial interests of foreign powers and their economic monopolies.

While your observations on PP6 -9 might not all together be out of place they tend to becould the major historical dynamics central to developments in Africa, in line with what you rightly pointed out in the preceding sections.

Your conclusion also, rightly, tends to reflect your earlier position in the paper. That is why the major issues raised in the conclusion tend to focus on matters of universal concern, and Justice, occasioning the need to restructure international institutions, especially the UN, in a manner that would address such concerns.

Please note that you have not discussed environmental issues in the paper even through you raised it in the conclusion.

I strongly suggest you review, and reappraise, PP6-9 in order to allign the issues they raise so as to make the paper more consistent and coherent.

Thanks for a great contribution. With Best Wishes. - Prof. Sule Bello            

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Readers' Remarks

 

 

"I appreciate your apt and concise account of what transpired. Quite brilliant." - Dr A.K. Babajo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Kaduna State University

"Thank you very much for giving us courage and support in academic struggle." - Prof. A.M. Bunza

"I read the interview in the Weekly Trust. As always, very apt, informative and a rundown of the historical events leading to the advancement of the folklore society. " - Prof Andrew Haruna

"Congratulations on your well-deserved honour. Please savour the flavor of your great achievements. Remain blessed." - Prof. Angela Miri

 

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Title of Dr. Usman's Article or Interview
 
"Tribute to a Classic School Master"

 
Commentary:

I stumbled on this tribute to late Mr J.O Abolade as I was searching for the school anthem of Federal Government College (Ijanikin) Lagos. I was a member of staff of that school from 1991 to 1995.

     I woke up thinking about the sad situation in my beloved country  a tottering giant whose legs and vital organs have been eaten away over the years by sheer human greed and selfishness borne out of utter  ignorance. I thought of the magnitude of effort & work that have gone into 'making the nation one'  the Unity Schools & the sacrifice made by staff, the National Youth Service Corps scheme and the posting of Federal officers, a-times at  great inconvenience, to every remote corner of the country, among other efforts. I almost felt a sense of defeat. I found myself humming "Builders of Bridges across Young Minds" and my mind went to the composer of the song, Mr Abolade.

     I never worked directly with him but I knew the family. Mr Abolade was a complete gentleman. And...that is the comment you would hear from those who worked with him. His wife is a perfect lady.

I pray that the bridge building that they and the rest of us worked at will not be in vain. We hope in past students of Federal Unity Colleges like Dr Bukar Usman to maintain The Bridge. THE BRIDGE MUST NOT COLLAPSE. - Mobolaji Oworu

 

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